When it comes the new social media network started by Google, called Google+, some folks are calling it the most earth-shattering development in social media since, well, since the last most earth-shattering development.
I haven’t yet decided if it is an earthquake or just another headache.
Here’s my problem with Google+: They ripped off every social media convention out there and stuffed them all into one platform. This is great if you’re the kind of person who finds enjoyment reading stereo assembly instructions, but just another headache if you’re someone (like me) who likes things simple and easy to understand.
The problem for me is that everyone I know has suddenly started sending me Google+ invites. I personally could care less about adding another social media platform to my resume, but if people I know are actually going to be using it, I guess I’ll have to. There is not point in avoiding a social media network people use–just the ones that people don’t use (Like MySpace.)
My answer to this vexing problem is to have a profile on Google+ (Which I do–you can follow me there if you so desire) but not use it very much. I don’t want to create “Circles” and “Groups” and have video chats and every other darn thing under the sun. I just want to read simple blips about what my friends and family are up to without needing to read the instructions.
Is that too much to ask for?
Google+ is an aggregation of existing Google, Facebook and Twitter products stitched together in a relatively clean and intuitive manner. For example, Google+’s “stream” is Facebook’s “news feed,” and that +1 button is an unadulterated rip-off of Facebook’s LIKE button. It also built in one of the fundamental principle of Twitter that allows a member to follow others without seeking their permission – or requiring them to follow the initiator back.
Hangouts and Circles on the other hand offer slightly more than other networks. While Facebook is rolling out Skype for video chatting, Google’s Hangouts allows up to 10 people to video chat at the same time. And while Circles is another type of “group” functionality, Google+ allows its users to put those they follow into several “affinity” groupings -whether it is the “friends” and “family” circles that come standard, or new affinity groupings created by individual users where they can assign folks to more than one “circle,” if they so choose.
So while discarding some of the obvious scatological analogies cyberventilating the blogosphere – e.g. “circle jerks” and “letting it all hang out” – I was more impressed this week with an infographic that referenced all the social networks and how each one approached the topic of urination. Hats off to the folks at epicponyz for clarifying how one man’s pee is another man’s collective piss pot.